Archive for March, 2013

Frequent Accidents Raise Concerns about Dangerous Curve

Mar 2013

At the end of February, WCHS reported on an accident on the Interstate 64 curve coming into Charleston. According to WCHS TV, traffic was tied up for hours when a logging truck flipped over and lost its load while going around the curve. 

Our West Virginia accident attorneys know that this recent accident on the curved road is not the first to occur in the same location. Motorists have complained in the past that the area is dangerous, and a spokesperson for the West Virginia Department of Transportation told WCHS TV that a lot of accidents occur on that stretch of road.

Dangerous Roads Raise Questions About Solutions

According to WCHS TV, the spokesperson for the West Virginia Department of Transportation indicates that many of the accidents that occur at the dangerous curve happen as a direct result of speeding drivers. Excessive speed around a curve can significantly boost the chances of a driver losing control, especially when the driver is operating a top-heavy vehicle such as a truck or an SUV.

Because of a belief that excessive speed is the cause of crashes, the West Virginia DOT likely will not put more signs up nor make more changes to the area. The DOT spokesperson told WCHS TV that there are already numerous signs on both the eastbound and westbound roads. The signs have a tilted truck symbol and have large arrows going in both directors to let drivers know they are entering into the curve.

When asked if the DOT would consider additional signage, including an Amber Alert-type warning sign, the DOT representative indicated a belief that no amount of signs would make a difference in cutting the number of accidents. He asserted that ultimately drivers need to take responsibility for slowing down, especially when they have been warned about the curve.

Responsibility of Government Agencies to Make the Roads Safe

When an accident happens and there is a potential problem with the road that may have contributed to the car wreck, it is important to find out why the crash occurred and what can be done to stop any future accidents. The DOT spokesperson said there is often an active investigation after an accident to evaluate whether there are ways to make the roads safer.

Certain roads may also be designated as targeted enforcement areas, which means law enforcement steps up efforts to enforce driver safety laws in those areas.

Government agencies such as the DOT have an obligation to take the steps of investigating accidents and correcting any major problems in street design to reduce obvious risks faced by motorists on the road. While the government agencies responsible for road design and maintenance do have some limited protections against liability, the protections are not absolute. Thus, those in charge of road maintenance must ensure they do their jobs to keep people safe and avoid being negligent in a way that could make them responsible for auto accidents caused by bad road design.

If you’ve been in an auto accident in Ohio, Pennsylvania or West Virginia, contact the personal injury attorneys at Recht Law Office. Call us today at 1-800-HURTLINE.